04 June 2010

Why Wait?

On one of my previous entries someone asked me why is was waiting.  That's a pretty good question, most people probably think I'm a total d-bag for telling some sweet, faithful sister missionary I'd be here when she got back, then immediately going out on dates and actively flirting with girls from work.  Most girls who promised to wait for an elder said they'd save themselves for them, they would be prepared for a temple marriage, and that they wouldn't even look at another boy for the next 24 months.  Then what happens?  They get married five months later to the first RM that smiles in their general direction at the singles ward.  It's easily happened millions of times, they say they know he's the One, but didn't they know their missionary was the One?  That's a textbook way to get gobbled up by the yearning.

How do things like this happen?  Easy, guys are guys.  As soon as you mention you're waiting for a missionary you become the forbidden fruit that must be tasted.  If the aforementioned "failed wait" happened to you and your husband knew you had a missionary, ask him if that knowledge played a part in his motivation.  If he just said "no" he's a liar, you should probably get a divorce now that you can no longer trust anything he says, what's worse, you're entire relationship has been based on him seeing severing your connection to your missionary as a challenge.

Which brings me to my first point: I don't tell the girls I meet that I'm waiting for a missionary.  If they ask, I tell them that the last girl I dated left on a mission, and leave it at that.

I've never understood how girls waiting for missionaries assumed they'd be able to go two years without dating and then be normal at the end, or that they could even make it two years in the first place.  By going about it this way, they'd only repress themselves and stunt their social development and dating experience.  Beyond that, I've always wondered how people could be so ignorant of life experience.  I'm a curious person, I want to learn and know as much as I can.  Because of this I've always found people who share their only kiss with their wife, not make-out, cuddle, or date anyone but their spouse as ridiculous.  How can people be so happy in their ignorance?  Once you're married how can you honestly say that they are the best person for you when they've been the only person for you?  Now before anyone says, "well if they're the only then they're the best because you've never been with anyone better."  To that I say, using that same logic you could argue that they could be the the worst since you've never been with anyone worse.

I plan on living it up while I can, I have a list of dating experiences that I want to have in the next 14 months so that once Hannah gets home I can know, without a doubt, that she is the One for me or not.

Hannah knows all of this.  We discussed waiting before she left, she told me she didn't want me being a hermit while she was gone.  I told her I'd only be "waiting" in a sense that I wouldn't be married or engaged before she got home, and that I guaranteed her we'd go on a few dates.  For me this wasn't really that big of a promise, I wouldn't be married in a year and a half even if she didn't go and we continued dating.  Because of this, "waiting" hasn't really been hard at all, but the separation hasn't been easy in the least.

Now that you know the how, I'll move on to the why.

I'm really good at board games, especially strategy games, so good in fact that people just won't play with me anymore.  The key in any strategy game is the ability to look several moves ahead.  You can approach life much the same way.  Life is like a giant strategy game there is a desirable outcome that you shoot for, using guile, diplomacy, and teamwork.  Hannah is the kind of girl that, no matter what is thrown at you, is the best choice.  We differ all the ways you want to differ, and we're the same in all the ways that matter.  We're both our own, independent people.  

Since she's left I've started to realize how much I miss hearing her opinion.  I've always been the kind of person who has never had an issue with making decisions for myself, but when I started dating Hannah I began to realize that even though we agree on many things, our reasons for thinking the ways we do is quite difference.  Because of this I started to get Hannah's view on any decision I was mulling over, not because I need her to make my decisions for me, but because often her opinion might give me new insight.  She began to do the same thing, I think this is a very good practice for a couple, however, I think the best thing about this is that if I disagreed with her, or she disagreed with me, we'd do what we were planning to do anyway.  Sure, when you're making decisions that effect both parties you have to come to some kind of agreement, but when on your own, I think the ability to disagree is just as important as agreeing with your partner.  I've been told that you want to marry young, before you or your future spouse get "too set in your ways."  But why shouldn't you each be your own people?  What's the point in talking at all if you're the same person with the same thoughts.  How can you learn and grow when there is no one to challenge you.  How can you appreciate a spouse as an equal if they always submit to your point of view?

Physical attractiveness is also of large importance, I've read that, as cause of divorce, lack of sex is right behind financial woes in the "irreconcilable differences" column.  I assume, that being physically attracted to your partner is a factor in the activity.  Not only that, you have to realize that in our world attractive people are more successful statistically, and on that note, you have to keep in mind that your future children will look like one or both of you.  Think of the animal kingdom, the most attractive individual get's the girl, and proceeds to produce the most desirable offspring.  A lot of people say that appearances of a partner aren't important, but I say it is, both on a psychological level, and from a genetic and instinctual point of view.  Hannah has a classic good look,  I noticed all of the time how she looked great even just wearing a t-shirt and jeans, as well as having great skirt legs.  She was happy whether we were hiking to the top of a mountain or lounging around watching movies and cuddling.  She's affectionate, she first truly won me over one night when we were just watching TV and she nonchalantly started raking her fingers through the hair on my head.  Sure it felt good, but I think the thing that made me feel the best about it was how much of a passive thing it was for her at the time, she didn't have an agenda, she was just absent-mindedly showing how she felt.

I could probably go on making a list about all of the things, big and small, that make waiting seem worth it.  The short answer to why I'm waiting is simple, I dated Hannah long enough to know she's not a girl I can let get away, if I can help it.


Jenni said...

To answer your question about how you know someone's right for you when their the only one you've kissed. For me, it was a leap of faith. When Chas proposed, I didn't know for sure, but by the time we got married, I did. That my choice was right has been confirmed countless times since. I haven't kissed anyone but him and even if some guy out there kisses better than him, I would never regret my marriage to Chas. I didn't marry him for his kissing abilities, or even his good looks (although those are a great bonus!)

I'd address other aspects of your post, but I don't want to write a novel. :)

Waiting On A Sister Missionary said...

I acknowledge your opinion, Jenni. Some people can survive on their faith, but I live on experience.

My point was not that you should kiss many people so that you don't get stuck marrying some crappy kisser. My point was to point out the importance of experience to back up a serious, eternal decision.

I can say from experience, that there are bad days, one where a lot of what-if's start flying through your head. I know that if I had only kissed/dated/cuddled my future wife and no one else, I may start wondering what if I had shopped around a little more, let myself get almost this close to someone else. That's pretty much the worst possible thought I can think of for a married person. However, by being "experienced" as I am, I feel like I already avoid many of these thoughts and feelings. This adds a psychological "knowing" to any spiritual "knowing."

I could question you on why you accepted a proposal when you weren't sure he was the right one, personally I have to say I rather would've heard an "I don't know, I need time" than a "Yes" if my proposed fiancee wasn't sure. But I've already written a novel, so I'll leave it.

Jenni said...

Thanks for responding so kindly, I was a little scared.

The reason I try to rely on faith is that I know it's always right. Some of my experiences have led me to the wrong conclusions. Experience will come naturally in your life, faith has to be worked for. Relying on the Spirit will lead you to the best kind of experiences. I'm glad you are not relying on your experiences alone.

I'm not trying to say that all experiences are bad. I'm suggesting that some experiences are not necessary, especially in dating. Although faith was a big part of my decisions to date and marry Chas, I had experiences that also told me I was doing the right thing, plus I loved him! One thing that I worry about with experience is when one person thinks they have more experience than their current or future spouse and tries to “teach” them.

Yes, there are bad days in marriage. Some people seem to think that marriage will be the cure to all their troubles, but really it brings more. At least it makes life more complicated. The awesome parts of marriage more than make up for that. I wonder if those kind of “what-if”thoughts can come no matter what you do, especially if you're having a bad day. It's not bad that they come, only if you let them stay.

I knew Chas was right for me when I accepted him. Before we even started dating, I knew he was an incredible guy, better than I thought I would ever find. He lives his testimony. It shines in his eyes and his actions. My doubts where in myself, whether or not I was ready for marriage yet. It's a huge decision! I was 99.9% sure, and knew I would get that .1%.

Alicia said...

I randomly found your blog through a comment on Mormon Bachelor Pad and I love the way you write. Can I add you to my blog list?


Waiting On A Sister Missionary said...

Be my guest!

singlemormonchick said...

the waiting for a missionary phenomenon has always baffled me. i have never done it and i have only really dated 2 rm's, so i dont have a lot of experience to base my opinion on, BUT i will give it anyway. its ridiculous. i think YOU are doing it in a totally different and smart way, but i still worry about some of your comments; like how you make the declarative statement "i know i wont be married in 14 months". you are actively dating. there is a very good possibility that you could find someone to marry or at the very least be seriously dating someone by time hannah gets back and either convince her that you "owe" hannah 3 dates(good luck with that) or explaining to hannah why you have to break your promise to her. that would not be a fun thing to do. we are a peculiar people for sure. the dating a marriage rituals alone prove that.

Waiting On A Sister Missionary said...

I know, that sentence coming from a 23-year old Mormon male sounds almost blasphemous. I will say I'm confident in the fact that in the last five years, of which I spent 2.5 actively dating and searching, I only found two girls that fit my ideal model. Also, I have never met a girl "my type" at church, so until school starts I'm mostly just using dating as a cover for a social life. Yeah, I know, I'm pretty much exploiting marriage hungry girls, and I may or may not earn a stalker out of this...

I will not marry anyone whom I've dated for less than a year. I even told Hannah not to expect a quick marriage when she got back because it would take another year, or at least close to it, before I could be ready. Beyond that, I know I won't be ready for at least a few years. There's still a lot I want to do and be(selfish right) before I'm ready for someone to rely on me that much.

It may sound like an outlandish statement, but I know myself, and I know I can back it up.

singlemormonchick said...

outlandish-maybe. smart? almost definitely.

Whitney said...

"I'm mostly just using dating as a cover for a social life"

That's what I feel like I'm doing as during my waiting experience. I'm dating to make friends. I feel bad that these guys want more. Maybe I just need to go on dates with a guy that also has a missionary. That way we could talk about our missionaries and not feel awkward and still have a fun date knowing that neither party wants anything more than friendship. That could only happen in a perfect world I guess. Oh well.